Abstract

Predicting the low-frequency component to be used for seismic inversion to absolute elastic rock properties is often problematic. The most common technique is to interpolate well data within a structural framework. This workflow is very often not appropriate because it is too dependent on the number and distribution of wells and the interpolation algorithm chosen. The inclusion of seismic velocity information can reduce prediction error, but it more often introduces additional uncertainties because seismic velocities are often unreliable and require conditioning, calibration to wells, and conversion to S-velocity and density. Alternative techniques exist that rely on the information from within the seismic bandwidth to predict the variations below the seismic bandwidth; for example, using an interpretation of relative properties to update the low-frequency model. Such methods can provide improved predictions, especially when constrained by a conceptual geologic model and known rock-physics relationships, but they clearly have limitations. On the other hand, interpretation of relative elastic properties can be equally challenging and therefore interpreters may find themselves stuck — unsure how to interpret relative properties and seemingly unable to construct a useful low-frequency model. There is no immediate solution to this dilemma; however, it is clear that low-frequency models should not be a fixed input to seismic inversion, but low-frequency model building should be considered as a means to interpret relative elastic properties from inversion.

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